Halloween Costume Ideas: Anime And Video Game Based Costume Ideas

The hobby of Japanese anime costuming, called

The hobby of Japanese anime costuming, called "cosplay", has a large following not only around Halloween, but for anime, video game and comic conventions. Cosplay involves fashioning a costume of an anime character and, if possible, acting as much like that character as possible.

Unfortunately, anime costumes can be extremely elaborate, time-consuming and expensive. This guide will provide you with time and money-saving costume ideas that will last through any party or convention. If you do not have a particular character in mind, consider some of these simple options:

Combine a black, grey, plaid or blue knee-length skirt (preferably pleated) with a red, yellow or grey bow affixed to a white blouse. Alternately, a necktie of the same color as your skirt will suffice, especially if you have a blazer to go over it. Then, wear socks (knee-high if possible) and flat black shoes. Instant schoolgirl!

Similarly, dress pants and a white shirt with a tie may look plain, but with the addition of a long-haired wig or an outrageous dye color and a leather satchel you'll be easily recognizable as a schoolboy.

A black turtleneck, combat pants and high boots will produce the stereotypical video game sharpshooter. Add a wristband and a plastic pistol for effect.

A fake sword, tunic, and boots will make you an RPG character. Accentuate with a hat and a belt with pouches to carry your items.

Miniskirts, platform shoes, and as much jewelry as you own on your wrists and neck will form a Kogal costume. Add a feather boa, short-strapped purse, and a temporary blue or red streak in your hair for extra effect!

If you have time, you should certainly consider choosing a specific character and making a full costume for them. Choose someone from a game or anime you like, a movie, or even another cultural reference such as a box of Pocky. Since such costumes can be difficult to fashion, here are some tips:

Hair - This is usually the biggest problem cosplayers will face. Anime characters tend to have wildly-colored hair that defies gravity. The most cost-effective method is, of course, to use your own hair, styling it with gel and/or coloring it with dye. Washout or semi-permanent dyes of most exotic colors found in anime (pink, blue, purple, etc) can be found through stylists, or, if it's around Halloween, in a costume shop or department store. Wigs are generally the next best idea if you can obtain one in the desired color. Again, around Halloween these can be cheaper; during the rest of the season, buying one from an online store or a costume supply shop will still be better-priced than a professional wig. It is even possible to dye wigs if you have the correct type of dye, which can also be obtained online. If the style is impossible due to gravity, consider sewing a hairpiece out of fabric or fashioning one out of cardboard.

Weapons - Wood and paper-mache are your best friend here. Most video game characters will require a weapon of some sort, from scythes to machine guns. Investigate a local department store or toy store first for a base, and if you cannot find one, create one out of household objects. A broomstick and Styrofoam can be transformed into an elegant staff with just a little bit of paper-mache and paint.

Armor - A tricky addition to any cosplay, realistic armor is extremely difficult to create. If you happen to be skilled in working with fiberglass or know someone who is, you can make or commission your own. If you're like the majority of people, you'll need to make do with more paper-mache, cardboard, and metallic paint. Lacquered foams coated with silver paint can also look quite realistic with a little work.

Gloves - The most efficient way to deal with hand-wear is to buy work gloves, or cotton or satin party gloves, and dye them to suit your costume. Bright pink elbow-length leather ballroom gloves can be difficult to come by, but satin is an easily-altered inexpensive substitute.

No costume is impossible. Look for advice on a specific costume online, especially if you have seen it cosplayed before. Others may be able to offer you ideas you would not have thought of, or refer you to someone who can create that special weapon or glove. Be creative and thorough!

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